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The Industry Buzz

The Industry Buzz features carnival, amusement park, fair and festivals news direct from the lots. If you have newsworthy information that you would like to share on CarnivalWarehouse.com, please email editor@carnivalwarehouse.com. For full feature news articles and exclusive interviews, please check our news and interviews section.

Wade Shows adds third major coaster to show
Wade Shows announced the purchase of their third major roller coaster, the Comet II. The ride was previously owned by Murphy Brothers Exposition and has played events such as the Tulsa State Fair, Wisconsin State Fair, and New Mexico State Fair, among others. Wade Shows owner, Frank Zaitshik, reported that they were still working on routing for the coaster and had yet to determine what events the ride would play.  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/31/2013

Five injured when ride malfunctions at the North Carolina State Fair

Five people were injured on the Vortex late Thursday night at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh.  While details are still transpiring pending an on-site investigation, the piece appeared to have started moving while patrons and the ride operator were exiting the ride.  The piece was manufactured by MelPark of Italy and is owned by Josh Marconi and was booked into the fair through Powers Great American Midways whom holds the contract for the fair.  CORRECTION: The Vortex was manufactured by MelPark, not Technical Park of Italy.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/25/2013

Matthew S. Repp, son of Pat Repp, passes

We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Pat Repp, NAME, whose eldest son Matt, just passed away. Please keep the Repp family in your thoughts and prayers during this tremendously difficult loss. No parent ever wants a child to precede them in death.

Matthew S. Repp, age 28, of Kirkwood, Ill., passed away on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at his home in Kirkwood. 

Matt was born Oct. 5, 1985 in Monmouth, Il the son of Patrick S. and Kristin L. (Johnson) Repp.  He was raised and educated in Kirkwood, graduating from Yorkwood High School in 2004.  He received his Bachelor's Degree from Western Illinois University in 2008 in Communications and Ag. Economics.

Matt married Kendra Knowles in Macomb, IL. on May 21, 2011 and she survives.

Matt was a salesman with Kleine Equipment in Monmouth for the last 2 years.  He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood.  He also served on the Kirkwood Park Board. 

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, collecting toy farm tractors; he also enjoyed traveling especially to Mexico.  He also enjoyed playing the guitar and drums in his band, "Final  Drive" with his brother Adam.

Survivors include his wife, parents, brother, Adam Repp all of Kirkwood; grandparents, Jim and Sandy Johnson of Kirkwood and Richard Repp of Avon; great grandparents, Marion Johnson of Kirkwood and Louise Nelson of Roseville; several loving aunts, uncles and cousins; and his loving companion, Kahne.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Shirley Repp.

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the United School District #304 Junior High West Campus (formerly Yorkwood High School) with Pastor Pam Moore of the Kirkwood Westminster Presbyterian Church officiating.  Burial will take place at Center Grove Cemetery, Kirkwood.  Visitation will be Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 at the United West Campus where his family will be present from 3:00-7:00P.M.  Memorials may be given to the United School District #304. McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory in Monmouth is in charge of the arrangements, 309-734-6008.  For more information or to leave an online condolence please visit, www.mcguireanddaviesfuneralhome.com.  

Originally posted by the OABA / Matt Cook

  Posted by OABA / Matt Cook on 10/11/2013

Big Rock Amusements buys Florida based winter quarters

Matt McDonagh reported a strong season for his family's 4th year of owning and operating Big Rock Amusements.  Matt was pleased to announce the purchase of a new winter quarters and home in Venice, Florida.  The new winter quarters is located in Venice, near Denny's Electronics, which will be very convenient for McDonagh.  While the show doesn't plan to establish a Florida winter route, he does intend on booking several pieces with other shows in the off season.  Much time will be spent in the shop rebuilding and refurbishing equipment, which McDonagh says he is "very excited to get started on."  For 2013, Big Rock purchased a new Extreme ride, a Denny's Electronics light show for their Expo Wheel and other capital improvements.  Another ride purchase is already in the works for 2014 and McDonagh is also pleased to announce the addition of two new Michigan fairs.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/26/2013

KMG production booked through Spring of 2015

Ride manufacturer KMG of the Netherlands has been busy producing rides and attractions for showmen worldwide and is currently booked for production through the spring of 2015.

In June, KMG delivered a Freak Out to Stephen Broetsky's Frazier Shows.  This is the first Freak Out in the USA with a non-traditional color design consisting of orange and green colors.  In August, Gene Dean's Fiesta Shows took delivery of their new Speed XXL, also with a new and unique design on the platform panel.

In Europe, Mr. H.P. Maier took delivery of his 10th KMG ride. Dubbed as the Super Chaos, the ride can be best described as a oversized Freak Out with free spinning tubs on the end.  Mairer named his new ride after his most successful KMG ride, The Chaos (Afterburner / Fire Ball type attraction).  The 'Super Chaos' was officially opened and traditionally blessed by the Swiss Fair Reverend at the Wetzikon Fair in Switzerland on August 16.

This week, KMG will be finishing production of a new Speed ride for Golden Way Amusements in Australia and a Freak Out for B & B Rides and Games with new style lapbars, also in Australia.

At the end of 2013 KMG has 3 'Freak Out' deliveries scheduled for Alpine Amusements, Butler Family Fun and All Around Amusements, all in the US followed by another Freak Out for Windy City Amusements in March of 2014.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/6/2013

2013 Minnesota State Fair attendance report

The 2013 Minnesota State Fair concluded Monday with a final attendance number of 1,731,162, down 57,350 from 2012 and down 59,335 from the 2009 fair which was a record year for attendance.  The fairís drop in attendance can be much attributed to a record setting heat wave that lasted over a week with heat indexes ranging from 90 to 105 degrees each day.  Prior to the heat wave, the first three days of the fair were up in attendance followed by 7 consecutive days of lower then normal attendance.  Cooler weather moved in for the final Sunday and Monday of the fair which resulted in both days having record single day attendance figures of 229,943 on Sunday and 160,209 on Monday.  Keep posted to MCW for a final recap on the fair in the coming weeks.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/4/2013

First Day Attendance Up at Minnesota State Fair
First day attendance at the Great Minnesota Get-Together was 106,852, which was an increase from 2012 of more than 3,100 visitors! For a detailed look at daily attendance, visit: ow.ly/odhIn  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/23/2013

Top 5 Rides at the Wisconsin State Fair

This week, the Wisconsin State Fair announced its top rides and attractions. Rounding out the top 5 were:

1) Rip Ride Roller Coaster (Deggeller Attractions, Inc.)
2) Area 51 (Wood Entertainment)
3) Sky Flyer (Reithoffer Shows)
4) Big Bamboo (Sky Attractions)
5) Alpine Bobs (Blake's Concessions)

Please stay tuned to CarnivalWarehouse.com for a release of the entire 51 ride ranking and further coverage on this year's Wisconsin State Fair.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/23/2013

Official 2013 Minnesota State Fair Independent Ride & Game List

With the 2013 Minnesota State Fair right around the corner, the fair released it's official independent ride and game lineup. The fai kicks off on August 22 through September 2 in St. Paul, MN. With several independent operators opting to leave equipment at the State Fair Park in Dallas this year to play the new summer midway, the fair opened the door to some new equipment. Notable new attractions include the Rip Tide Roller Coaster (Deggeller Attractions), The Air Raid (KB Concessions/Playworld Amusements), The Big Bamboo Fun House (Sky Attractions), Puppy Express Coaster (Prime Pacific Enterprises) and the Sky Flyer (Reithoffer Shows).

 

Click here to download the official list.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/2/2013

Fiesta Shows to take delivery of KMG Speed

Fiesta Shows of New England will be taking delivery of a new KMG Speed XXL next month.  The Speed which was produced over the last month at KMG's factory in the Netherlands is due to leave for the US next week.  The Speed is a giant pendulum style ride that stands over 115ft tall with two free swinging seats on either end of the pendulum.  The Speed has become a popular attraction in the US with Fiesta Show's Speed making the third Speed delivery to the US for 2013.  Other Speed deliveries include two for North American Midway Entertainment and a second one for Ray Cammack Shows.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/19/2013

Ward Hall - King of the Sideshow, a biography of the most colorful showman ever to live, is now being written to be published in 2014.

Former Amusement Business journalist and former Vice President of Ripleys, Tim O'Brien has announced his plans to write an official biography on Ward Hall, the King of the Sideshow.  Ward Hall literally ran away and joined the circus in 1944 when he was a "kid" living in Colorado. He was 14 years old, a 10th grade dropout, and had only enough money saved for the bus ticket to the Big Top of the Dailey Bros. Circus. By 16 he was performing in a sideshow and by age 21, he owned a sideshow!  Today, 69 years later and countless circus and side show, vaudeville and burlesque house performances under his belt, Ward Hall is still in the business. He plans to retire when he reaches 100 so he can "see the world." Now 83, he is the undisputed King of the Sideshow.

With a show still on the road, Ward Hall celebrates his 70th Year on the Midway in 2014!

To help fund the project, Tim needs your help by donating to the cause.  For more information, please visit their Kickstart fundraising web site by clicking here.  As of today, $3,000 has been raised for the project, but another $7,000 is needed by August 8 to keep the dream alive.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/15/2013

Birth Announcement: Garrett Lewis Deggeller

Congratulations to Andy and Jamie Deggeller on the birth of their second child, Garrett Lewis Deggeller.  Garrett was born on July 11 at 7:02pm and weighed 9lbs 1oz and measured 20" tall.  Garrett's older brother, Gabe, is said to be the "happiest big brother in the world".

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/12/2013

Wendell Meacham Passes

Wendell Meacham, long-time OABA member, friend and former Waterloo Tent employee has passed away. Wendell was a true gentleman with a big heart and as many would agree, he had a tremendous work ethic. He along with Vern Reiter helped create a foothold in the Outdoor Amusement Industry. The success of Waterloo Tent can ...be directly attributed to the efforts Wendell put forth during his tenure with Waterloo, and his companionship and guidance he shared during his retirement.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are extended to the Meacham family. He will be sorely missed, especially by those whose hearts he touched. May he rest in peace.

  Posted by Pete Downs on 7/11/2013

Sky Attractions sells KMG Sky Swing to U.K.
Tom McDonagh's Sky Attractions announced the sale of their KMG Sky Swing to an amusement operator in the U.K. The Sky Swing was a one of a kind swing tower, designed and manufacturered by KMG of the Netherlands. The ride spent several years overseas before being purchased by McDonagh in 2012. The spectacular swing ride played many events including the Texas State Fair, Minnesota State Fair, and Wisconsin State Fair in addition to a winter route playing county fairs and festivals in Florida. Sky Attractions currently operates two one of a kind attractions including another KMG piece, the Fun Factory, and the Big Bamboo fun house. The Fun Factory is currently in Hawaii playing the 50th State Fair with E.K. Fernandez Shows and will be back in the US early July.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/12/2013

Wade Shows announces Huss Rainbow restoration plans

Wade Shows announced its plans for an extensive refurbishment project of the show's Huss Rainbow.  The show plans on continuing with the original Rainbow theme, but with an updated look including a spectacular LED light package on the boom, gondola, and back wall.  The color scheme of the ride will be similar to its current design, only brighter with the back wall art being a collaboration between TJ the Painter and Jim Ellis of Jimmy's Sticker Shack.  Wade Shows plans to unveil the re-designed Rainbow at the 2013 Oklahoma State Fair this September. 

Earlier this spring, Wade Shows asked fans to submit ideas on a new design via their Facebook page.  The show would like to offer 5 complimentary ride tickets to all of those who submitted their thoughts and designs.  Please contact Wade Shows via Facebook for additional information.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/3/2013

Carnival Connection to this year's Indy 500 winner

Tony Kanaan, winner of this year's Indy 500 which took place last weekend in Indianapolis, has a connection to the carnival industry.  Kanaan is married to Lauren Bohlander, daughter of Gary Bohlander, who together with his family, own and operated Poor Jacks Amusements of Milton Indiana.  Congratulations to Tony, Lauren, and their family!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/29/2013

Mike Safie, Jr., Vice-President of Fajume Rides, Dies in Fatal Car Crash
On Wednesday, May 8th, Mike Safie Jr. was killed in a tragic car accident in El Salvador. He was 53 years old.

Mike Safie, Jr., was Vice-President of the many Safie-owned family businesses begun by his father, Mike Safie, Sr. The Safie family is best known in the carnival industry for the ride company Fajume Rides which they began in 1983. The amusement ride manufacturing company made the popular Wacky Worm family roller coaster. Over the past several decades, they have exported hundreds of rides to countries all over the world.

In addition to the manufacturing business, the family operated over 200 rides with five carnivals that play through Central and South America.

Friends wishing to offer their condolences may do so by mail at the following address:

Fajume Rides
Prolongacion Calle Arce #2320
San Salvador, El Salvador C.A.
or e-mail at ventas@fajume.com
  Posted by MCW Editor on 5/11/2013

Don Massie Sr. recovers from triple bypass surgery

Last week, Don Massie Sr. of Alpine Amusements (Chicago) underwent a scheduled triple bypass surgery and is recovering. Don's son, Donnie III said "He is doing well and anxious to go home." Don will spend much of the first part of the season at home recovering, while Donnie III will handle the day to day operations on the road. "He will take care of most of the book-keeping from home and hopefully be out later in the year", said Donnie III.   Alpine Amusements carries approximately 20 rides and is taking delivery of a S&S Frog Hopper this season and a KMG Freak Out in the fall, both rides purchased through Len Soled's Rides 4-U.  The show travels throughout the Chicagoland area, southern Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana.  We wish Don Sr. a speedy recovery!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/10/2013

Rides 4-U Installs Million Dollar Light Package on Top O Texas Viewing Tower

Len Soled's Rides 4-U Inc. announced the installation of a new, Maxtron LED Lighting package on the "Top O' Texas" viewing tower at the Dallas State Fair Park. The light show is valued at over $1 million, which is the most expensive and extensive package sold by Rides 4-U. The tower stands at over 500ft tall and is the world's tallest tower ride. The lighting system can be synchronized to music and features hundreds of different lighting programs. In addition to the package sold to the State Fair Park, Rides 4-U has been busy selling and delivering new rides to its customers. Tom and Deb Murray of Murray Brothers Inc. recently took delivery of a new S&S Frog Hopper; Steve Broetsky's Frazier Shows is set to take delivery of a new KMG Freak Out next month; and Southern Cross Rides will be taking delivery of a new KMG Inversion just in time for the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California. Rides 4-U has been keeping busy retrofitting existing equipment with new LED lighting packages. Freddy Miller's Miller Spectacular Shows added a LED package to the shows Pharaoh's Fury for 2013.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/6/2013

Skerbeck Carnival adds $1 million in new equipment for 2013 season

Skerbeck Carnival has announced the addition of three new rides for 2013.  Rides include an Owen Trailer's Monkey Maze glass house, a second Majestic Scooter, and the Twin Flip. The Twin Flip is a super spectacular attraction, manufactured by Moser Rides of Italy that travels on two semi trailers. The Twin Flip was previously owned by West Coast Amusements of Canada and is currently the only ride of its type traveling in the United States. In addition to rides, the show also purchased four new bunk houses for its crew.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/19/2013

USCIS Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions

Effective March 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the Department of Labor's (DOL) 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave DOL 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order.  Click here for more information.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/2/2013

Carnival Legend Passes - by Frank Zaitshik

We received this note from Mr. Zaitshik yesterday who was obviously moved by the passing of Mr. Honeycutt.

A carnival legend passed away quietly yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama. Jack Honeycutt, also know as "Top Brass", joined the carnival business in 1932 at the age of 13 after traveling around the country during the Great Depression in search of work. In an interview Jack once said when he walked on the lot the first thing they asked him was "Are you hungry?"

Honeycutt also said that in the carnival business, the  color of your skin didn't matter, only that you carried your weight. He was with a number of shows through his storied career, most notably the Hennis Show, Olson Shows, Strates Shows, Link Shows and finally Wade Shows. He worked his way up the ladder doing a variety of jobs, finishing his days with train shows as the Train Master. He was the only African-American to ever hold that position. 

When I bought the Wade Shows, Jack came with me. We had been close since I was a teenager. I always joked, when speaking about Jack, that when I was a boy, Jack seemed so big he had muscles on his eyebrows. Though he could be an intimidating person if need be, he had a kind heart and always was willing to help a fellow showman.

During the racially charged 60's he always defended the business, portraying it in a positive light in the black community. He helped keep order in the locations we played during those years.

I'm honored to have known Jack Honeycutt and proud to have called him my friend. We believe Mr. Honeycutt was 94 when he died. I'll miss him very much.

  Posted by Editor on 3/27/2013

Reithoffer Shows adds ARM Vertigo

Reithoffer Shows announced the addition of a ARM Vertigo to the show and plans to take delivery in mid April. The Vertigo will compliment the shows Zamperla Sky Swing, enabling both the orange and blue units to have spectacular swing rides.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/26/2013

Jon Luehrs

It is with regret to inform you of the passing of Jon Luehrs.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

The wake will be held from 6pm to 9pm at Fred Hunter Funeral Home located at 6301 Taft Street in Hollywood FL.  The Funeral will be held at 9am Tuesday at Saint Bernadettes Catholic Church located at 7450 Stirling Road in Ft. Lauderdale FL.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/16/2013

Wade Shows to bring Huss Rainbow back on the road
Wade Shows announced Tuesday that they plan to bring their Huss Rainbow back on the road for 2013.  The Rainbow is currently being refurbished and outfitted with new parts, new back wall graphics, and a spectacular light show.  Owner Frank Zaitshik says "it will be the showpiece of all showpieces" when finished.  If all goes to plan, the ride is scheduled to debut at the 2013 Oklahoma State Fair in September.    Posted by Matt Cook on 3/13/2013

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